Simon Ebbinghaus

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We combine experiment and computer simulation to show how macromolecular crowding dramatically affects the structure, function, and folding landscape of phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK). Fluorescence labeling shows that compact states of yeast PGK are populated as the amount of crowding agents (Ficoll 70) increases. Coarse-grained molecular simulations reveal(More)
Biomolecules evolve and function in densely crowded and highly heterogeneous cellular environments. Such conditions are often mimicked in the test tube by the addition of artificial macromolecular crowding agents. Still, it is unclear if such cosolutes indeed reflect the physicochemical properties of the cellular environment as the in-cell crowding effect(More)
Precise secondary and tertiary structure formation is critically important for the cellular functionality of ribonucleic acids (RNAs). RNA folding studies were mainly conducted in vitro, without the possibility of validating these experiments inside cells. Here, we directly resolve the folding stability of a hairpin-structured RNA inside live mammalian(More)
Biomolecular dynamics and stability are predominantly investigated in vitro and extrapolated to explain function in the living cell. We present fast relaxation imaging (FreI), which combines fluorescence microscopy and temperature jumps to probe biomolecular dynamics and stability inside a single living cell with high spatiotemporal resolution. We(More)
We measure the stability and folding relaxation rate of phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK) Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) constructs localized in the nucleus or in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of eukaryotic cells. PGK has a more compact native state in the cellular compartments than in aqueous solution. Its native FRET signature is similar to that(More)
The interior of the cell is a densely crowded environment in which protein stability is affected differently than in dilute solution. Macromolecular crowding is commonly understood in terms of an entropic volume exclusion effect based on hardcore repulsions among the macromolecules. We studied the thermal unfolding of ubiquitin in the presence of different(More)
Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) and antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs) enable the survival of organisms living in subfreezing habitats and serve as preservatives. Although their function is known, the underlying molecular mechanism was not understood. Mutagenesis experiments questioned the previous assumption of hydrogen bonding as the dominant mechanism. We use(More)
We compare the folding kinetics of a fluorescent phosphoglycerate kinase construct in 30 mammalian cells with that in aqueous buffer. In both environments, the kinetics can be fitted to the functional form exp[-(t/τ)(β)]. A histogram of τ shows that the average folding relaxation time in cells is only twice as long as in aqueous buffer. Consideration of the(More)
Micro composites are commonly characterized in bulk. Here we study the temperature triggered release of a bioactive compound from single isolated microcapsules. We monitor the release process in real-time using a novel thermal microscopy method combining laser-induced heating and fluorescence imaging.
The role of water in the functioning of proteins has been a hot topic over the years. We use terahertz (THz) spectroscopy as an experimental tool to probe the protein-induced fast solvation dynamics of ubiquitin. In order to investigate the effect of protein flexibility on the changes in the solvation dynamics, we have measured the concentration-dependent(More)